All Praises are due to Allah, the One with whose praise every book is opened choicest blessings and salutations on His beloved Prophet, our master, Muhammed صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم .
By the Grace and Mercy of Allah we have entered a month where the doors of good are opened, a month where blessings comes in abundance, in it previous minor sins which were committed by us are forgiven, and this month is none other than Sha’baan-al-Muazam the month of the Holy Prophet صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم as is stated in a Hadith:
“Sha’baan is my month, Rajab is Allah’s month and Ramadan is the month of my Ummah (Community).” (Ghuniyatut Talibeen)
Allama Sheikh Sufyaan Thawri has stated:
“Rajab is the month of planting the seed, Sha’baan is for watering the seed and Ramadaan is the month for harvesting the crop.”(Nuzhatul Majaalis)
Therefore, if someone does not plant the seed of worship in Rajab, and does not water them with tears of remorse in Sha’baan, then how will he be able to harvest mercy in Ramadaan? The Sheikh’s father has also added that Rajab purifies the body, Sha’baan purifies the heart and Ramadaan purifies the soul.
What is the meaning of the word Sha’baan? Mujaddidul Islam the reviver of the Deen, Imam Ghazali stated that the word Sha’baan is derived from the word Shuab , which means a valley between two mountains, therefore this month is named Sha’baan as a valley because this month is a pathway of good between two great months Rajab and Ramadaan.
In this month, which is filled with blessings and forgiveness, there is a great and a very important night in the Islamic calendar which is Lailatul Bara’ah and this night, is the night of Eid for the angels of the sky as Imam Ghazali mentions:
“Two nights are the nights of joy for the angels (there are two nights of Eid for the angels) the night of Lailatul Bara’ah and the night of Lailatul Qadr.”
On this night many people are saved and freed from the hell-fire and it is for this reason this night is called Lailatul Bara’ah (the night of emancipation), in other words the night of freedom.
Allah Almighty says in the Holy Qur’aan:
“Ha’. Mim. By the Clear Book. We revealed it on a Blessed Night, for We were intent on warning. (Surah 44: Verse 1-3)
There are two points which emerge from this blessed verse:
- The first point is regarding the revelation of the Holy Qur’an as Allah Almighty says: “We have revealed it in a blessed night” . According to the commentators of the Holy Qur’aan, there are two opinions concerning this verse as some say that this verse is refering to Lailatul Qadar and that the Qur’aan was revealed on Lailatul Qadar and some say that this verse is refering to Lailatul and that the Qur’aan was revealed on Lailatul Baraat
- The second point is about the matter being decreed for the whole year as Allah says: “wherein every matter is wisely determined.” (Sarah 44, Verse 4). Concerning this verse the commentators of the Holy Qur’aan are on two points, some say this verse is talking about Lailatul Qadr and some say that this verse is talking about Lailatul Bara’ah. Hazrat Ikrama RadiyAllahu Anhu is of the opinion that this verse is refers to Lailatul Bara’ah.
It is narrated on the authority of Bibi Aisha RadiyAllahu Anha, that the Holy Prophet صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم asked:
“Do you know what happens on this night? (he meant the night of the middle of the month of Sha’baan ) she asked, ‘what happens on it Oh Messenger of Allah?’ He said: ‘On it everyone to be born of the offspring of Adam this year is written, everyone to die of the offspring of Adam this year is recorded, their deeds are raised, and their sustenance is sent down.'” (Mishkaatul Masaabih)
In another narration it is stated that on the night of Lailatul Bara’ah, Allah Almighty decides everything which is going to take place during the year and then He gives these matters to the angels on the night of Lailatul Baraat as Allah Almighty says,”
“The angels come down with Jibraeel with the permission of their Lord.”
This means that they come down with every matter which is going to take place during the year, which was decided on Lailatul Bara’ah.
Going back to the Hadith, the Holy Prophet صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم said that in this night their books wherein their actions are recorded, are raised and Allah looks at them. The question may arise that why does Allah need to look at our books of actions when He is the knower of everything. He knows the past, present and future. He knows what we have done, knows what we are doing and he knows what we are going to do. So why does he need to look at our books?
Imaam Hajjar Asqalani Rahmatullah Alaihi answer this question by saying that the wisdom behind Allah looking at our books is to increase the honour of His obedient servants and to disgrace those that are disobedient. When allah looks at books of the obedient servant, He gets pleased with them and he honours them amongst the angels and when he looks at a disobedient servants book, He gets angry and He curses and disgraces them. (Mirqaat)
On this night, whoever supplicates and makes Dua to Allah on this blessed night, this Dua will not be refuted in the court of Allah but it will be accepted and answered as the Holy Prophet صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم has said in a Hadith:
“There are five nights in which Allah does not refute any Dua and they are the first night of the month of Rajab, the middle night of the month of Sha’baan, the night of Friday, and the nights of both the Eids.” (Tibrani)
This night is filled with so much forgiveness that Allah will forgive every person who asks for His Forgiveness, Allah will forgive all his minor sins as is narrated in a Hadith: Bibi Aisha RadiyAllahu Anha narrates that the Holy Prophet صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم said:
“Jibraeel came to me and told me that this is the middle night of the month of Sha’baan and I take an oath on Allah’s name that people are freed from the fire with the number of the hair of the cattle of Bani Kalb and Allah does not look at a Mushrikh, nor does He look at a person who engages in war against a Muslim, those who break relations, those men who keep their lower garment below their ankles, those who disobey their parents and those who habitually drink alcohol.” (Tibrani). Imam Ghazali Rahmatullah Alaihi further adds a musician and a backbiter. (Mukashifatul Quloob)
Once again, Allah Almighty has bestowed us with life to witness this holy and auspicious night. We have the opportunity to seek Allah’s Mercy and Forgiveness. Let’s us not waste this opportunity to repent and please Allah Amighty.
Written by: Shoayb Abubaker (5th Aalim Student at Darul Uloom Pretoria)
Edited by Hashmudeen Ismail & Naimul Haque. All contributors to this article are Aalim students at the Pretoria Islamic Educational Centre.